Black country

Benefits cheat filmed playing football for pub team

A man claiming benefits because he said he struggled to walk more than a few yards unaided has been sentenced after being filmed playing football.

Kevin Freeman said he needed a stick as walking more than 18 yards caused severe discomfort but was caught on camera running and doing keepy-upies.

He admitted falsely claiming £11,217 in Disability Living Allowance.

Freeman, 31, of Bilston in the Black Country, received a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

'No discomfort'

He was also sentenced to a six-month supervision order, 200 hours community service and £300 costs at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said Freeman, from Connaught Road, had also claimed he needed someone to wash and cook for him.

He was awarded Higher Rate Mobility and Lower Rate Care which meant his disability must be severe enough that he was unable or virtually unable to walk without severe discomfort, or at risk of endangering his life, or have no feet or legs, the DWP said.

But after an anonymous tip-off, surveillance footage in March 2009 showed that at the same time as claiming benefits he was playing football for the Great Western pub team.

He was seen walking, running and sprinting and showed no signs of discomfort at all, the spokesman added.

Freeman pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to notify a change of circumstance affecting a claim for disability living allowance and failing to notify a change of circumstance affecting a claim for income support.